A decade back, famous rapper Kanye West got into a partnership with Adidas, the famous German corporation known for its sportswear and sports equipment. The deal was meant to promote sneakers, clothing, and accessories produced by the brand under its new category: ‘Yeezy’ with the help of Kanye. The partnership lasted for several years and was incredibly successful while it lasted. It resulted in some of the most sold sneakers and apparel from not just Adidas but the entire industry.
The release of the Yeezy Boost 750 sneaker marked the debut of the Yeezy line in 2015. The sneaker featured a futuristic design and was warmly welcomed by sneakerheads. All of them quickly sold out and became a must-have for sneaker fans all over the world. After the launch of these sneakers and other products in the line, Adidas quickly went up the ranks of sport equipment companies. The Yeezy line offered users unique designs and led to an unparalleled demand from customers who had not seen anything similar before.
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An important question that raised in several minds at the time the partnership was finalized, why was a sports brand collaborating with an artist. However, Kanye soon turned out to be a significant advantage to this deal. One of the most important features of the partnership between Adidas and Kanye West was the influence that the sporting brand now gained over Kanye’s massive fan following. Kanye West is a renowned artist who has a following that goes a lot beyond the music industry. His influence massively spans over fashion and design industries as well. The Yeezy line allowed Adidas to leverage this influence as an opportunity to spread their roots amongst a completely different set of people. Kanye’s following led Adidas to customers who were earlier not interested in the brand at all.
The partnership also served as a mean to open Kanye’s mind to the fashion industry. Earlier Kanye who had partnered with Nike had soon ended the deal out of frustration due to the lack of control he had over the designs that Nike accessed and created. As part of Kanye’s deal with Adidas, he had a good amount of control over the designs they produced right from the initial concept to the finalized product. This new found freedom led Kanye to create some of the most iconic designs in the sneaker industry which further extended his roots into the industry.
The Yeezy line was a total success for both Adidas and Kanye. It had become one of the most successful lines to ever exist in the history of sports companies. Adidas which was earlier facing difficulties competing with others in its industry like Nike and Jordan got the advantage with the coming of Kanye and started taking over the market. However, there were several challenges that posed a threat to the partnership which eventually ended it last year.
Kanye has always had a liking for giving controversial statements. Numerous statements made by the influencer and rapper had previously hurt the chain. However, Adidas had successfully avoided these situations and somehow managed to keep the chain running until Kanye got caught up in some antisemitic views that he had presented that led to Adidas ending their long ties with Kanye.
There has been a significant impact on the sales of the brand after the partnership with Kanye came to an end. The €400 million loss in sales within the first quarter of this year was beyond anyone’s imagination. While the sales of the brand are up by 9% if the Yeezy line in excluded, it is clear that the brand has suffered significant losses by saying goodbye to Kanye. However, it is possible that they might have prevented a boycott from some of their customers if the move was not taken quick enough.